Devoted to the Propagation and Defense of New Testament Christianity
January 24, 1957
NUMBER 37, PAGE 1,5b

Premillennialists Fellowship Denominations

Robert C. Welch, Louisville, Kentucky

Billy Graham was in a crusade recently in Louisville, with the Baptists and several other denominations sponsoring him. He could not preach on drunkenness, divorce and baptism because his sponsors were not agreed among themselves in these matters. The premillennial "churches of Christ" of the area are on record in a radio program and in their magazine, Word and Work, November, 1956, as endorsing Graham and the denominations supporting him and as condemning those churches who were opposed to such religious affairs. In spite of such infidel teaching they make the plea every chance they get that they want to be in fellowship with the loyal churches of the Lord. They call themselves "free churches of Christ." It is as much a contradictory misnomer as "Roman Catholic." If it is Roman it cannot be universal; it is neither Roman nor catholic. The other is free of the teaching of Christ but not in respect of their doctrine; hence its adjective contradicts its claim to be the church of Christ.

Those who follow R. H. Boll's false doctrine are charged with vitiating the gospel of Christ and with destroying faith in God, Christ and his word. Of course they wail that we are falsely accusing them. Their endorsement of the Graham campaign is sufficient evidence to prove the charge. They do not believe in baptism for the remission of sins, they endorse Graham and the denominations who support him, and all of them openly deny baptism for the remission of sins. A theory (premillennialism) which makes Christ's teaching on the church and of his establishing it a mere substitution because he failed to do what he came to do, will not necessitate any acceptance of what Jesus said on anything. Brethren everywhere need to be warned continually of this denomination of premillennial churches of Christ, which fellowships the "faith only" denominations, has its publishing house here in Louisville, and its school in Winchester, Kentucky, lest they be deceived into supporting it.

Notice the way they get around baptism for the remission of sins, as Graham and the Baptist denomination do, and how they show that they will fellowship the Baptist Church. These statements are from the radio sermon of E. L. Jorgenson as published in the Word and Work:

"The famous evangelist is, of course, a baptized believer — immersed, as he told us; and that he preaches the news of the gospel there can be no doubt ....

"The church will need it (baptism) — that they may know, as surely as we can know in this world — whom to receive and fellowship."

Disfellowships Loyal Churches

The sermon was preached and the article written in condemnation of one of the loyal churches here who exposed the false teaching and practice of Graham and his supporters in a paid newspaper advertisement. This is not the first and only instance of their fellowshipping the denominations who hold their pet theory and disfellowshiping those churches of the Lord who stand for the truth; but it is an excellent example of such perfidy. Yet this same man who preached the sermon had the gall to state publicly at the recent debate here with them on their theory that the question we should be studying is "fellowship."

Some of the comments of the publisher on the advertisement and the sermon will show their general feeling and demeanor:

"One 'Church of Christ' bought costly space in the Courier-Journal (our largest daily) to attack the teaching of the evangelist through the public press . . . . On every hand, members of our free churches of Christ (for they too wear Christ's dear name) were being asked if they approved the attack, or if those churches were connected with, or represented by, the advertisement. The indignation became so widespread that many brethren thought it necessary to go on the air with a disavowal of any implied connection."

Faith-Only Doctrine Endorsed

The opening sentence of Jorgenson's sermon indicates that they were helping to sponsor the Graham affair. If not, he considers the premillennial churches as not being "evangelical." He says: "Just now, and for one more week, our city, or rather the evangelical churches of our city, are engaged in a great union effort to bring the unsaved amongst us to a definite decision for Christ." In this fashion he approves of Billy's doctrine of salvation by faith only. He not only approves, he goes into a Presley-fan ecstasy over the sight:

"It is indeed a thrilling sight, and a heartwarming experience 'to those that love the Lord' to see the place filled to overflowing: rank upon rank, thousands on thousands, a veritable sea of faces, all upturned to the man who comes out to speak for God ...."

He thinks a newspaper advertisement exposing the false teaching of Graham is a terrible thing; but he thinks a radio program and a magazine article of criticism of those who expose the false doctrine is fine! That is the epitome of the apostasy of the premillennial churches of Christ. Hear him as he sums up his apostate plea and includes all the premillennial ranks with him:

"What then? Shall we oppose the whole crusade? Shall we resort to half-page advertisements, to throw cold water on the effort although we know that thousands whom we could never reach will hear, out there, the great fundamentals of faith, repentance, decision for Christ, and confession of Christ — (fundamentals that we, too, cherish), preached in mighty power? No. 'we have not so learned Christ.' In that sort of opposition, you may just 'include me out'!

"This, I think, is the Christian's proper duty and function in the premises; and I am confident that the many free, independent, spiritual churches of Christ that support and sponsor this broadcast would not only wholeheartedly agree with these sentiments, but they would be happy to have me disavow, on their behalf, any apparent connection or sympathy with the type of opposition referred to ....'

That is the kind of pernicious conclusion and consequence to find in the wake of an acceptance of the speculative, truth-destroying, faith-shattering theory of premillennialism. These people claim to want fellowship with us. But they are already taking their place as a denomination in fellowship with denominations. When this latter fellowship is in jeopardy they immediately repudiate any connection with faithful churches of Christ. The only reason, therefore, for their apparent desire to fellowship us, is for the gain, financial and numerical, from us. They seek and get, from the unapprised and unsuspecting, financial support for their missionary training school, for their propaganda publications, and for their missionaries. Many Christians who have not been informed, warned and taught come to Louisville or other communities where these premillennial churches are located and get "taken in" by these digressives.